Egypt FM reaffirms support for political solution in Libya

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-19 03:53:34|Editor: yan
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CAIRO, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Tuesday that Cairo employs all its capabilities to push forward the political process in Libya and reach a settlement in the conflict-torn neighboring country.

Shoukry's remarks came during a phone call with Fayez al-Sarraj, head of Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) run by the Presidential Council (PC), said the Egyptian Foreign Ministry in a statement.

"Shoukry made a phone call with PC chief Fayez al-Sarraj where they discussed the latest development in the Libyan affairs in the political and security arenas," Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement.

The Egyptian foreign minister stressed the importance of joint work to boost the understandings reached between rival Libyan parties in their recent meetings in Cairo "in order to achieve accord over over the outstanding issues in the Libyan political agreement to move to the stage of construction."

For his part, Sarraj expressed his appreciation of the Egyptian efforts, voicing intention to make a soon visit to Cairo for further consultations on the next steps.

Six years after the 2011 uprising ended the 42-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi as well as his life, Libya is currently engaged in a civil war and run by two rival administrations, one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli.

Tobruk's parliament-backed government was internationally recognized before the PC was established in 2015 to run a unity government in Tripoli as per a UN-brokered peace deal between Libyan factions reached in Skhirat, Morocco.

Supported by self-proclaimed Libyan national army led by Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, the parliament-backed government in Tobruk refuses to recognize the UN-backed, Tripoli-based, PC-run unity government known as GNA.

Egypt, which hosted several meetings of Libyan factions, refrains from recognizing the GNA, saying it is up to the Libyan people to determine their own government.

However, it repeatedly expressed support for the Tobruk-based government and for strongman Haftar's crackdown on militants in Libya, describing the man as "Libya's savior from terrorism."

In January, Cairo hosted top diplomats from Libya and its neighboring states, namely Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Chad, Niger and Tunisia, as well as the Arab League chief and UN envoy, who issued a joint communique urging Libyan dialogue and reiterating rejection of any foreign military interference in the war-torn country.

In mid-February, Egypt managed to get Haftar and Sarraj to Cairo but failed to convince the two rivals to hold direct talks.